Through Metaphorical Illustrations, Owen Gent Unveils Difficult Psychological Experiences

A silhouette of a woman peers out from behind the hair of a larger woman

All images © Owen Gent, shared with permission

For Owen Gent, texture and shadow are essential narrative tools. The Bristol-based artist fosters a robust personal practice and works with commercial clients, authors, and various publications to create moody illustrations rich with metaphor. In one work evoking the emotional toll of cancer, trauma, and depression, a figurative silhouette draws back a woman’s hair to survey the surroundings while still protected by the strands. An unsettling piece takes a similarly introspective and psychological approach as black crows circle a subject, one on fire and another grasping at the person’s eye.

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Gent tells Colossal that his works begin with analog techniques like painting, and digital manipulation comes later. “It’s a constant push and pull between the two, and I try and be conscious of not losing too much of the original piece when editing,” he says.

Prints are available in Gent’s shop, and his illustrated children’s book That’s Nice, Love is out now. Find more of his work on Behance and Instagram.


two mask-like faces appear to float to the right of a figure with a shadowy face

Black crows, one one fire, surround a human form with one bird grasping at the human eye

A figure appears to float above water with a pink reflection in the body of water below

Two images, one of a hand holding a red beet, the other of a constellation of red spheres superimposed on a human figure

A girls legs stepping from darkness into flowers

A vibrant bird perched on a branch

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